A view from my chair

After several tumultuous months we are seeing hope, peace and simplicity on our horizon. Today I have a superb view of the Brisbane River from my armchair in our Daughter’s apartment. It may be a cloudy day, but I have the river and all its sounds and activity, as well a couple of great books and a superb bottle of white chilling. All I have to do is prepare dinner!

If I get energetic, I can go downstairs and sit on the lawn and watch the world go by…

Weekend Wandering

Tamborine Mt 2

Wandered to Tamborine Mt, in the Gold Coast hinterland this day. Tried to take in the view, but had forgotten the temperature distance to our Village and so felt the cold wind biting without jackets. Still, it was pretty impressive, grey clouds and all.

Tamborine Mt 5

Mr FD declared the need for a hot drink so we stopped by Le Chile Cafe where he added a plate of Mexican meatballs to his drink order.

Tambourine Mt 3

I settled for a “Portuguese inspired caramel pastry” that I wish I could remember the name of, but looked more like an almond biscuit with caramel filling. Delicious!

Tamborine Mt 4

A far better day than the previous five!

Tamborine Mt

And yes, I was waiting for the annoying children who insisted on rolling about and getting in my photo, to fall off the mountain side. One must live in hope …

It started with a coffee; or Mr and Mrs. FD’s Saturday adventure.

The plan was a coffee and then to the supermarket. We had the coffee, or Breakfast Dessert as I declared it:

Start with a Breakfast Dessert on a Saturday Morning and you never know where the day may lead...

Start with a Breakfast Dessert on a Saturday Morning and you never know where the day may lead…

Mr FD has led a rather quiet life since his knee replacement in late July, but today he was in dire need of an outing; so the supermarket plan was scrapped and we hit the road for an adventure.

The trail led us to the Jondaryan Woolshed, almost one hundred kilometres from our Viilage! The last time I had visited  the Woolshed, we were living in Toowoomba and our children were tiny. We all have memories of a daughter attempting to milk a cow only to be splattered by a rush of cow poo. Ahh the memories of childhood!

It has changed quite a bit, and now boasts a fine restaurant, where we had a  tasty burger accompanied by a lovely glass of wine. And a pot of tea!

A few pictures will tell the story better than mere words…

...and lunch

…and lunch

ST Anne's Church, Jondaryan

On the way we passed Saint Anne’s Church built in 1865 by the then owners of the Jondaryan Homestead. It is apparently identical to the church represented on the Australian fifty dollar bill. I haven’t seen a $50 note for awhile so can’t say if that is true!

One end of the Woolshed was staged for a wedding that evening. There were fairy lights hanging above beautifully set tables, and I am sure at night the atmosphere would be magical. Hopefully, the bride’s perfume will cover the aroma of wool fat that has seeped into the floors over the many decades the woodshed was an actual shearing shed! Lovely backdrop though.

We are going to try for groceries tomorrow…who knows where that might take us!

Snow at Wallangarra, south of Stanthorpe, makes for a unique Queensland landscape.

Snow at Wallangarra, south of Stanthorpe, makes for a unique Queensland landscape.

Yesterday was so windy,  the classroom door was blown off its hinges! I walked all the way across campus to my designated classroom only to find that the bottom hinge was stretched some inches out form the door frame and as a result was wedged tight against the veranda railing and could not be moved. The wind howled into the classroom,  and the the temperature hovered at Antarctic levels, so I alerted the office that the classroom door was in need of repair and I was taking my class back across campus to the library.

Mr FD had the fire lit when I arrived home, which just managed to thaw out my cold nose.  It is a beautiful nose, but it does get cold in winter. I discussed the possibility of wearing balaclavas as part of the school uniform with some of the students, but we decided that as it is a rather low socio-economic area with a rather high crime rate, that balaclava wearing might not be a good idea!

There was snow in Queensland on Friday also ; about two hours drive away at Stanthorpe. The weather report stated clearly and repeatedly that the snow would disappear quickly, but that didn’t stop hundreds of people driving out to Stanthorpe on Saturday morning in the hope of seeing snow. Of course, it was long gone. No doubt the wineries in the region did a roaring trade this weekend!

 Ruth Neumann-Derujinsky, Mademoiselle September 1955 Photo by Stephen Colhoun

Today, Mr FD and I went shopping  in the City, for his hospital clothes – his knee replacement is scheduled for July 29th. Regular devotees are aware Mr FD sleeps naked (no, it is not a pretty sight) and so we have had to purchase pjs. Well actually we opted for shorts and tee-shirts as Mr FD hates the way pjs wrap tightly around him when he sleeps. We completed the purchase with a couple of track suits as he is going to rehab (for his knee, not for a substance addiction!) for a couple of days before returning home.

I know the poor man will be suffering, but damn, I have to say that I am looking forward to a few nights of  undisturbed sleep!

And now for something different. Petite Fille has learnt a new word. CRAP. I blame her mother. I first heard Petite Fille utter the word when she was playing with her teddy in her cot and she uttered “Crap, I have a headache.” Her mother heard her say, “Crap, my back is hurting” yesterday. Her mother, Daughter1, is in the habit of saying both phrases. Petite Fille got a little conversation about the use of the word, but I cried  “no fair” when Mummy uses it so freely. I did warn Mummy, but some times one must learn these things  for one self, if a little too late.

One week of school down, nine to go until end of term! Or 45 school days, if you prefer! Do I sound too eager? Or desperate?

Is a turtle in the pond worth two ducks on the creek bank?

turtles 2

Bread in hand, Petite Fille and I wandered down to the park, which has a creek running though it. Despite living in The Village for over two years, this was the first day I had actually visited the park. I know, sacrebleu!

I was hoping to find ducks, but just in case they had all headed north for the winter ( well, the three weeks of real winter we get, sometime) we billed it as “Going on a duck hunt”.

Our luck was in, not only were there ducks on the water, but turtles, dozens of turtles in the water, as well!

We stood on the foot bridge that ran over the creek and threw our bread into the water below, and were able to see big turtles, middle sized turtles and baby turtles all scrambling to the surface for the treat.

I have to admit that Grandma may have been slightly, okay, a whole lot, more excited than Petite Fille, at the sight of the turtles. PF though really enjoyed poking her bread through the wire mesh sides of the bridge. Grandma with her height advantage didn’t have to negotiate any mesh. Sometimes age and size wins out!

Bread supplies exhausted we wandered back home for our afternoon naps.

It was a good day.

turtles 1



Carter, Jeff, 1928-2010. Orphaned joey wearing a winter overcoat made from an old sweater sleeve, Foxground, New South Wales, 1968


Everyone in the northern hemisphere seems to be heralding the arrival of spring, and considering the winter that you have experienced, I can understand.

We here in the southern hemisphere are however on a different seasonal calendar. We are waiting for autumn.

Here in  our patch of subtropical Queensland, we are yet to experience a day below 30C. It has been an extremely hot summer with day after day over 35C and nights that did not allow enough cooling to be comfortable. I am so over summer, so over sweating, and teenage boy body odour after lunch sport, and fruit flies, mosquitoes, snakes, hail storms and cyclones, mould in the bathroom and having to drive in boiling hot cars at the end of the day.

Send me days to wear woollens, and nights to light fires. I need meals  that are warm and comforting, and excuses to simmer thick soups. Socks and boots and fingerless gloves. Scarves!

Bring it on!

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Autumn in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia


raining frogs and dogs


Unable to sleep in the early hours of the morning, I wandered out to the kitchen. I flicked on the family room light, only to spy something small and brown near the door leading onto the patio. My sleepy eyes were blurry, despite wearing my glasses, but I was fairly certain it was a small cane toad!

Interesting, as our entire house, windows and doors have insect screens. The screens are stainless steel security mesh and frames, so how the little creature got into the house I have no idea.

“There’s a toad in the house,” I called back up the hall to Mr FD, still in our bed.

“A toad?”

His disbelief was enough to bring on my self doubt. It wasn’t moving, but I wasn’t going to get any closer to investigate. “Well, it is either a  cane toad, or Augie Dog has pooped in the house!” Either way I figured it was Mr FD’s problem.

A naked Mr FD walked down the hall.  “It’s a frog!” A very dark green frog.

I didn’t really care what it was, it just needed to exit. I grabbed the long handled brush and dustpan and handed them to my beloved, well, Mr FD.

It was about then that Augie Dog emerged from our bedroom, where he sleeps by my side of the bed. Hunting toads is one of his favourite past times, even though they could make him ill. He is always being wrenched away from them when he goes out for his night time toilet breaks.

So, naked Mr FD and over excited, Augie duel for the frog. Mr FD won, by quick flicking of the dustpan brush into Augie Dog’s face, and the frog was despatched out through the screen door and back to its rightful place – outside.

A bit of a worry when there are cyclones approaching and even the frogs endeavour to to sit it out inside your house!


The cyclone crossed the Queensland coast midmorning, and while there was major destruction, so far there have been no reports of injury, or death. It is gradually weakening as it travels south, but continues dumping huge amounts of rain. It should reach Brisbane sometime tomorrow, probably as a tropical low, but the city is already experiencing minor flooding in some areas.

In our country nest we are soggy, very soggy. The wind increased this afternoon and the poor trees are swaying madly. The neighbours who wanted us to chop our trees down not so long ago, are probably sitting in fear in their home, but I don’t think they have anything to really fear. People can always be hit by a bus, as well.


I didn’t go to school, where the dramas continued. Today, there was a gas leak in one of the buildings, the science block I suspect, and so they had to move students into the library. I can only guess the mayhem that ensued, but these days, I refuse to stress myself out regarding situations that I can’t control. I am proud of our library, but if admin allows students to run amuck in my absence, well that is their issue, not mine. Not my zoo, not my monkeys.

It has been quite the week, hasn’t it? Happy to see it end.  Saturday will be more rain, but hopefully, no major flooding for anyone – and the frogs won’t need to look for dry ground!